Key Highlights of Budget 2018-19: Focus on Agriculture Sector and more

February 01, 2018

The Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley presented the General Budget in the Parliament today. The Budget primarily focuses on the upliftment of the agriculture sector alongwith impetus to health and education sector in the country. We present few key highlights of the Session:

  • As custom duty on cell phones has increased to 20%, they might become costlier.
  • Health and education cess has been increased to 4%.
  • For senior citizens, exemption of interest income on Bank deposits has been raised to Rs. 50,000/-
  • Finance Minister has proposed to introduce tax on distributed income by Equity oriented mutual funds at 10%.
  • Standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 for salaried employees in lieu of transport and medical expenses.
  • Companies with turnover of upto Rs. 250 Croreto be taxed @25%.
  • No proposal for any change in tax slabs of salaried employees this year.
  • Proposal of a fiscal deficit of 3.3% of GDP for 2018-19.
  • Proposal to revive emoluments: 5 lakh for the President of India, 4 lakh for the vice President and 3.5 lakh for the Governors
  • Proposal for automatic revision of emoluments of Parliamentarians every 5 years indexed to inflation.
  • 5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots to be set up in rural areas to provide easy internet access.
  • Government to initiate steps to eliminate use of cryptocurrencies that are reported of funding illegitimate transactions.
  • NITI Aayog to establish a National Programe to direct efforts in the area of Artificial Intelligence towards national development.
  • 4000 km of railway track would be laid down by 2019
  • Government to contribute 12% of EPF (Employees Provident Fund) for new employees in all sectors.
  • FM recognizes MSME as a major driver of growth. Also remarks that mass formalization of MSME sector is happening after demonetization and GST.
  • Government to launch health scheme to cover 10 crore poor families.
  • Government aims at bringing 60 Crore Bank A/c’s under the category of Jan Dhan Yojana.
  • Eklavya Schools to be started for members of SC/ST category
  • FM says, target to provide all Indians with their own homes by 2022.
  • FM proposes Rs. 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’ on lines of ‘Operation Flood’.
  • MSP (Minimum Support Price) of agricultural products- FM says only increasing MSP is not enough, the Government will fix the MSP of agricultural products at 1.5 times of the market rate.

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Shilpi Sharan

- Shilpi Sharan is the Editor at Vakilno1.com - an Advocate with extensive knowledge in myriad fields of Law. She has a flair of writing and has legal publications in national and international law magazines to her credit. She focuses on legal research and aims at raising public awareness of laws in India.